Women in Rap and Social Denouncement
By Jade Arroyo
Rap is a current in continuous growth that seeks to restore the concepts of diversity, respect, and equality in hip hop culture through the spoken word and rhyme.
After a long process of joint experimentation, hip hop finally became a solid, exportable and multiform cultural form in our country, structured around four basic elements: rap (poetry), turntablism (musical structure), breakdancing (dance), and graffiti (painting).
Hip hop arrived in Latin America in the ’80s in the form of a promise and settled in the next two decades as a stable reality yet in continuous ferment. Latin rap acts as an amplifier of concrete social realities, so it is not surprising that it was able to penetrate the historical wounds (military regimes, femicide, deep social inequality) these circumstances that seem to be a common denominator in the Latin American scene, have dragged on for a long time.
In these ranges, which today are identified as feminist boom rhymes, women artists write and shout social realities, claiming their role as active subjects within a culture that had moved them away for years. The feminist rap restored the value of the common struggle and forged new networks. In the state of Guanajuato, and more specifically in our city, alternative rap culture has spread in recent years.
One of its exponents in San Miguel de Allende is Karina Bustamante (“La Loca”), who has completed her first album, Esencia de La Calle (Essence of the Street), which was presented on Saturday, October 15, at El Sindicato Cultural Center, a place that is a forum for local and independent events. Along with Karina’s presentation, there were other rappers from Celaya, Dolores, Comonfort, and Querétaro, such as Cha Apps, Romeo ZK, Barek LBK, and DSK. Karina is originally from San Miguel, from the neighborhood of Las Cuevitas. She wrote her own lyrics. “I am a mother; I am a wife; I am a woman like any other. We are trying to make the movement increase. The most important thing hip hop expresses is union: to express what you feel is the experience of each person.”
“I worry about what is happening, I speak out, and people congratulate me. They tell me, ‘It’s so good that you talk about this!’ When they have the courage, they also speak out and denounce. I’m not trying to defame the president or the government, but to tell the truth of what we are experiencing. I speak because I worry about the town I’m going to leave to my kids, a San Miguel with gunshots, insecurity, sadness. Eventually, I’ll leave this world, but my kids are the ones who will struggle.”
You can hear some of the songs by La Loca on the YouTube channel La Lokaa Bustamante.